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“soso” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Gran Hotel Costa Rica

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Gran Hotel Costa Rica
Ranked #39 of 85 Hotels in San Jose
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
“soso”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2014

my room smells like urine, and there is no hot water. the only thing going is the location for this place. is is right in the center. but that's it. people at the front desk are also very unfriendly....

Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank traveler0123452014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandor T, General Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, 14 February 2014
Thank you for your most appreciated comments. We have taken notice of the smelly carpets and already changed them in several rooms. Taking in consideration your comments at the front desk we will include more training to all staff departments to improve customer experience. We hope to welcome you back at the Gran Hotel Costa Rica.
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896 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (140)
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Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 February 2014 via mobile

Despite its official 4 star rating this place is 2 star at best. Stayed at the start and end of a tour of Costa Rica.

Although an attractive 1930s building on the outside the interiors we very dated with shabby paintwork and threadbare carpets. The appearance of the historic lobby is made worse by harsh low energy lighting spoiling the original chandeliers.

Although our room was advertised as air conditioned, it was just a small portable unit in the corner that had little effect and was far too noisy to use whilst in the room anyway. On the second stay only a fan was supplied.
Both rooms were single glazed and very noisy. City view rooms get screetching parrots and traffic noise from sunrise around 6am and the general noise of various hawkers and street vendors until about 11pm; "courtyard" view rooms actually overlook the roof of the adjacent casino with a load of noisy extractor fans that run all night long.

The bathroom (complete with original tin bath!) was illuminated by a single LED lightbulb. Had to shower with the door open just to be able to see. There were no plugs in the sink or bath (I initially thought this might be common in Costa Rica but subsequent stays I other hotels confirmed this is not the case).

In the rabbit warren of rooms on the top floor there is a gym (didn't use it but the equipment seemed OK); a games room with 2 billiards tables, both with large chunks of felt missing and draught/chess table with 70% of the pieces present and an "Internet area" consisting of some empty desks and a LAN cable trailing across the floor. There is Wifi available although signal is patchy.

One redeeming feature of the hotel is that breakfast is served in the top floor ballroom with an outdoor terrace overlooking the Plaza de la Cultura and the Teatro Nacional. Having said that once your eyes stray from the view the room itself is similarly shabby to the rest of the hotel.

Given its priced at the top end of the market there are many better hotels for the same or cheaper both downtown and out towards the airport.

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank SwanseaTom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandor T, General Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, 4 February 2014
Thank you very much for your appreciated comments. We are sorry we could not meet your expectations. However, as we are undergoing a major renovation master planned refurbishment, we hope to welcome you back soon and be able to show you a renovated updated historical hotel.
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Travellers are raving about these San Jose hotels

Swindon, Wiltshire
Level Contributor
84 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 February 2014

Yes, it's a bit run down, the running water is a bit dodgy and if you get the wrong room, it can be noisy. But it has a lovely atmosphere, the staff are great and the food is good. Don't be put off by the reviews. No, it's not a 4 star in the UK but this is Costa Rica, and the deficiencies are more than made up by the ambience, location and the feel of the place. We stayed back in November and I've written this to balance some of the adverse comments from travellers. San Jose is a ramshackle but charming city. This hotel could be similarly described.

Room Tip: Not facing the theatre square - the traffic lights chirp all night!
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank alanandjan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandor T, General Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, 4 February 2014
Thank you for your nice comments especially your intention to balance other comments which we really appreciate. We hope to welcome you back soon to our property and surpass your expectations in service and quality.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fossil, Oregon, United States
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2014

My husband and I stayed 2 years ago. This historical hotel is located in downtown San Jose where you can walk everywhere close distance. The free buffet breakfast is always great and rooms are clean and charming, with hard mattress really helps your back too. Friendly staff, and beautiful restaurant with pianist playing easy listening or jazz. Many parrots on the trees outside seemed welcoming you. Only thing I recommend is that you use taxi outside of airport, instead of using hotel pick up service. I came out last night at the airport, no shuttle was waiting. They kindly canceled the charge of the shuttle on phone, but we waited and ended up using taxi. Best location and one of the best restaurant in Costa Rica.

Room Tip: No A/C is needed for me.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Hyon F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandor T, General Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, 4 February 2014
Thank you for your nice comments. We are reorganizing our transport system for a much more convenient and trustworthier system and our own transport shuttle. We hope to welcome you back soon to your home away from home the Gran Hotel Costa Rica.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2014

From nazi soldiers to presidents of countries, it's old it's beautiful. The staff seem to be happy, going out of way for assistance in many matters. Location can't be beat. Some rooms are small, however who comes to CR to stay in the room. Plan to stay there from now on. I've had some bad experiences here, heck even my wife enjoyed it NOW THAT SAYS IT ALL.

Room Tip: Rm 309 wonderful
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CarolinaMan1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandor T, General Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, 27 January 2014
Thank you for your nice comments which are much appreciated. We hope to have you back soon at our property and here in beautiful Costa Rica.
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New York City, New York
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2014

I consider myself lucky to stay at this historic hotel, overlooking the National Theater, for <$100/night. The front desk staff allowed us to check in at noon (3 hours early!). Breakfast is standard for Costa Rica, fresh and delicious. Live piano at 6-8pm is a nice touch. Rooms are a little outdated, bathroom is small, lights are dim. Our room overlooked the plaza and it got very loud at night and early morning. Room service is great, sheets and towels are sparkling clean. The restaurant is overpriced.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Eugene077
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandor T, General Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, 27 January 2014
Thank you for your much appreciated and nice comments. We hope to have you back soon in Costa Rica at your home away from home Grand Hotel Costa Rica.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
48 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2014 via mobile

i have read reviews about the hotel being past its glory. i do agree that it is dated but for people who visit other countries to see and feel part of its history, this the place to be. Staff were very friendly and helpful. it was very central to a lot of landmarks in San Jose so even if we only stayed for 24 hours we covered a lot of ground. some areas around the hotel can look shady but the policia were always doing rounds.

Stayed January 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank Pearl1013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandor T, General Manager at Gran Hotel Costa Rica, responded to this review, 27 January 2014
Thank you very much for your appreciated comments. We are actually implementing our improvement master plan and hope to have you back soon to be able to welcome you to our updated property.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gran Hotel Costa Rica

Property: Gran Hotel Costa Rica
Address: Central and Second Ave. Between 1 & 3, San Jose 527-1000, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Jose
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in San Jose
#7 Casino Hotel in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Gran Hotel Costa Rica 4*
Number of rooms: 107
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the absence of a major first-class hotel in the country, the Constitutional Congress of the Republic of Costa Rica enacted the law number 34 on November 22, 1928, which was actually a contract subscribed on October 3, 1928, by and between the first owner of the hotel, Dr. Luis Paulino Jimenez Ortiz, and Cleto Gonzalez Viquez, President of the Republic. It granted a series of fiscal benefits to the contractor, in exchange for the construction of the hotel. There was also a provision according to which the Government was granted for twenty years the right to have at their disposal for free two apartments at the hotel for lodging foreign diplomatic representatives of extraordinary nature. Grand Hotel Costa Rica is today operated by the Elite Hotels and Resorts Costa Rica hotel chain. It is the only hotel in Costa Rica that was declared a historical and architectural monument by the government of Costa Rica. Located in the heart of the San Jose between national monuments, squares, museums and pedestrian streets, the Gran Hotel Costa Rica is just a few steps away from the cultural landmarks and entertainment venues. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Hotel San Jose

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